Now that 2018 is in full swing, it’s time to take stock of what surprising food trends lurk on the horizon. From unlikely milks to the hottest new edible seeds, there is a brave new world out there when it comes to next-level eats. We asked Diane May MPH, MS, RD, CDN, CSOWM, of the Scarsdale Medical Group to shed a little light on what bright new edibles lie ahead in 2018.
“For those with a lactose intolerance, have GI issues, or are vegetarian, new plant-based options will become available in the new year to add to that coffee, yogurt, or cereal,” says May. “Milk made from oats, flax, and pili nut will be a popular new trend. Although lower in protein, they are also lower in sugar, fat, and calories per serving, and are more easily tolerated.”
“Pulses are the edible seeds of plants in the legume family. Dry beans — such as kidney and lima— dry peas, chickpeas and lentils are all pulses,” explains May. “These plant foods are loaded with heart-healthy protein, fiber, complex carbohydrates, vitamins, and amino acids. They are also a very affordable plant protein source.” May notes that pulses can help lower blood cholesterol and points to two studies that has shown the consumption of pulses can even aid in weight loss. “A great way to do a meatless Monday and reduce animal consumption,” she adds.
“A yellow spice that is ground at the root, turmeric’s active ingredient is Curcumin, which has anti-inflammatory properties that can aid arthritis and pain,” explains May. “The recommended dosage in supplemental form is 800 mg. It can also be used in cooking or added to warm water to make a tea. It is important to note, one should be cautious if using this when on blood thinners.”
“Most people are now aware that probiotics are an important part of our diet, but we will see more prebiotics in 2018,” foresees May. “Prebiotics are non-digestible fibers found in food and can support gut health. Good sources of prebiotics include artichokes, bananas, berries, whole grains, garlic, asparagus, and onions.”
Another food we see on the horizon is this highly nutritious plant set to take some of the glamour away from kale, green tea, and collard greens. Moringa has anti-inflammatory properties and contains all nine amino acids, as well as iron, vitamin C, and antioxidants. It may even help slow aging.
“High in selenium, antioxidants, Vitamin D, potassium, and folate, mushrooms have been shown to aid in glucose control, boost immunity, and have anti inflammatory properties,” says May. “Shiitaki, Reishi, and Chaga are three of the most medically studied mushrooms to add to your diet.”
By Samantha Bomkamp – Chicago Tribune
Kale has had quite a run.
Less than a decade ago, the leafy green vegetable was used primarily for decoration on salad bars. Now kale, known for its health benefits, is so ubiquitous that even McDonald’s uses it in salads. There are kale chips and kale crackers. And its appearance on Midwestern restaurant menus has soared nearly 1,300 percent over the last four years, according to Datassential, a Chicago-based food data firm.
Za’atar, a Middle Eastern spice blend, may not be as familiar to many Americans, but it plays a starring role in one of the salads Starbucks recently rolled out in Chicago as part of its new lunch menu. As Americans increasingly demand exotic flavors, spices like za’atar are expected to become more common on menus.
Identifying up-and-coming food trends is equal parts art and science, and it’s a process that some in the food industry pay a lot of attention to.
“The cronut went from nothing to Time magazine in no time; others peak and fall off,” said Stacie Sopinka, vice president of innovation and product development at US Foods, a Rosemont-based food distributor.
Food trends are influenced by a wide range of factors, from fashion and pop culture to health fads. They’re sometimes created by chefs, often in the world of fine dining, and then mimicked and re-purposed by other restaurateurs. Sometimes, it’s a consultant or distributor working with a big brand to develop a product that fills menu holes for a food company, whether it be a new beverage or a salad topping. The trends are monitored by companies that measure, track and report on them, making it easier for other companies to jump on the bandwagon.
Datassential, one of several companies that track trends, calls that pattern the “menu adoption cycle.”
Trends in the inception phase often start in fine-dining establishments and independent ethnic restaurants or markets, where the food item is considered unique in the way it’s prepared, presented and tastes. Piri piri sauce, a spicy and tangy topping from Portugal, and togarashi, a Japanese spice blend, are in that phase now.
The adoption phase is when mainstream restaurants catch on to the trend. Early adopters tend to be gastropubs, fast-casual and independent sit-down restaurants, and specialty or gourmet food stores. A restaurant like Rick Bayless‘ Xoco would jump on the bandwagon at this point, Datassential’s Mike Kostyo said, but so would Panera, Whole Foods, and even the Cheesecake Factory, which has a sizable menu and tests new dishes often.
In the proliferation phase, trends hit the mainstream and often are adjusted to have broad appeal. This means the up-and-coming ingredient is incorporated into burgers, pasta dishes and other menu items mainstream America is likely to consume. Sriracha aioli, a spread that lowers the spice intensity of the Thai pepper sauce, is in the proliferation phase now. It’s often served on sandwiches and with french fries.
In the final phase, a food trend can be seen across the industry. Brands like Denny’s and Wal-Mart catch on, but so do convenience stores, schools and office cafeterias. As of late last year, flavors like maple and pesto were in this phase. Some will fade away, while others could hang on for years.
Not all trends follow this common cycle. In fact, only about 30 to 40 percent of foods or ingredients in the inception phase ever continue on, according to Datassential. Consider bone marrow, a popular sight at some high-end restaurants, but not something that would ever make its way to a fast-food chain.
US Foods, which supplies restaurants with everything from produce to prepared meat, helps restaurants get on board with the latest food trends, with a special emphasis on the desires of millennials, the fastest growing segment of the U.S. population.
In 2011, the company rebranded, conducted extensive research and began positioning itself to better provide trendy ingredients to independent restaurants. That same year, it launched its own branded line of products, Sopinka said.
The items US Foods developed have to fill a lot of holes: The products have to be able to be used in multiple ways, be healthy but still flavorful, and in some cases, be fully cooked so that restaurants can save labor hours — a critical expense.
The company’s offerings have evolved to include products ranging from riced cauliflower, which can be used in gluten-free pizza crust and sides and salads, to chicken shawarma that is fully cooked and ready to heat and serve.
“We don’t need to be first. For us, it’s a matter of figuring out which ones are going to stick,” Sopinka said.
Kerry, an Irish developer of seasonings, sauces and flavorings, is also a major player in menu consultation and the translation of trends.
When a major quick-service chain like McDonald’s wants to develop a new burger, Kerry, which has its North American headquarters in Beloit, Wis., pulls all the burger concepts developed industrywide over the last several years and examines everything from buns to toppings, looping in current trends, said Elissa Rempfer, Kerry’s food service marketing research and insights manager. The resulting tests usually show up in fast-food restaurants as limited-time offers.
Because chains have huge footprints and need to appeal to a wide range of people, they aren’t often early adopters of trends. To help chains get in on the game, companies like Kerry often take a trend, like smoke flavoring, and mix it with something familiar, like mocha or vanilla, Rempfer said.
While an independent restaurant might try something bold like smoked ice cream, chains tend to opt for a more subdued interpretation. For example, Starbucks got in on the smoke trend with a Smoked Butterscotch Latte.
When trying to hook younger diners, many brands believe visual appeal tops all. Food, more than ever, has to be camera — or smartphone — ready. Enter rainbow grilled cheese. Or last month’s limited-edition Unicorn Frappuccino, a Starbucks concoction that changed colors while being consumed.
But as large corporations translate trends for massive chains, chefs at prominent Chicago restaurants have simpler and more old-fashioned methods to develop them: cookbooks and journals.
Bill Montagne, chef de cuisine at the Gold Coast Italian restaurant Nico Osteria, said he finds inspiration from cookbooks and in-season ingredients. He tends to start dish development by considering a cultural reference, taking into consideration indigenous ingredients and the cooking techniques of a certain culture or place.
Montagne and his team usually hammer out ideas for a week or two before they start cooking, trying to prepare a new dish ahead of the point at which an ingredient on the current menu is going out of season, like morel mushrooms are now.
Perry Hendrix, chef de cuisine at the West Loop Mediterranean eatery Avec, said he likes to change the menu frequently, but doesn’t put a dish on the menu until he’s “thought about it for a while and run it as a special on the menu.” He’s carried a small Moleskine notebook for years to jot down ideas in, and increasingly uses the notes feature on his iPhone as well.
“I am often most inspired for a new dish by a sauce, vinaigrette, rub or glaze that I encounter in cookbooks old and new, publications and from other restaurants,” he said. “A good sauce is something you remember for a long time and is good on a lot of different things.”
Lately, Hendrix said he’s been inspired by taking some of his personal favorite foods and translating them for the menu. The restaurant’s whole roasted fish with marinated artichokes, radish, lavender vinaigrette and chickpea crepes is his Mediterranean spin on a fish taco.
Hendrix said that he doesn’t like to think about developing or keeping up with trends, but rather being current.
“People’s attitudes about how and what they eat have changed and will continue to change. … So I do focus on what is current, but ultimately it has to be something I want to eat,” he said. “That has always been the litmus test for me — do I want to eat it? And from there, I hope that other people do too.”
We are surrounded by toxic chemicals every day – around 80,000 worth, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). From the pesticides on the foods we eat to the latest tech gadgets and hottest new beauty products, chemicals are everywhere.
Unfortunately, these chemicals, such as bisphenol A (BPA), formaldehyde, phthalates and toxic flame retardants, are easily absorbed into our bodies and have been linked to obesity, infertility, asthma, heart disease and even cancer. Toxic chemicals are especially troubling for kids, as their bodies are much smaller and are still developing.
In fact, a recent study in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives found that exposure to chemicals like flame retardants found in furniture and stain resistant items may cause breast cancer. What’s more, many of these chemicals have never been tested for their safety in humans, and experts agree strong legislation is needed.
It’s impossible to completely avoid chemicals, but there are things you can do to reduce your exposure and the level of toxicity in your body.
“You can significantly cut down on the toxic chemicals you eat if you’re being careful about your food choices,” said Rick Smith, co-author of “TOXIN TOXOUT: Getting Harmful Chemicals Out of Our Bodies and Our World.”
Choose organic fruits, vegetables, dairy, and meat to reduce your exposure to nasty pesticides and hormones. Organic foods are grown or produced without the aid of pesticides or antibiotics.
The largest source of chemicals are found in personal care products and cosmetics, particularly because there are so many, and they’re designed to be easily and quickly absorbed through the skin, Smith said.
Look for products that are phthalate- and paraben- free. Also avoid products with retinyl palmitate, a form of vitamin A that breaks down in the sun and has been linked to skin tumors and lesions.
Toxic chemicals are actually stored in the body, and one of the most effective ways to break down the fat cells and flush the chemicals out is through regular exercise.
Rick Smith and his co-author Bruce Lourie found that sweating was more effective than urinating at eliminating BPA – a synthetic compound found in plastics that has been linked with a range of health problems..
So it’s time to work up a sweat at the gym or in the sauna.
“A lot of toxic chemicals are attracted to fat,” said Smith, who noted that once these chemicals are in our bodies, they enter our fat cells.
You don’t have to become a vegetarian, but try avoiding saturated fats found in some meats and other fried foods.
Many cleaning products are toxic to breathe in and are especially potent for kids.
“Realize that ‘clean’ can come with a price,” said Sonya Lunder, senior analyst at the Environmental Working Group (EWG). Lunder said disinfectant products, in particular, are overused and misused.
Unless someone in your home is sick with an infection, nix the disinfectant. Look for green-certified cleaners, and buy fewer of these products overall.
Sure, pollution is toxic, but what’s in our homes can be just as dangerous – especially because we spend a significant portion of our lives there. Look for paint, carpet underlays and flooring with low levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), toxic chemicals that can be emitted as gasses from certain solids or liquids. Open your windows to circulate the air and reduce exposure from this furniture off-gassing.
Choose glass instead of plastic when storing food to avoid exposure to BPA and never heat plastic in the microwave, as this can cause BPA to seep into your food. Choose stainless steel or cast iron pans over nonstick.
Water is a great way to flush the toxins out of the body. Men should aim to drink 3.7 liters a day, and women should try for 2.7 liters.
“It’s easy to make these products without these chemicals in the first place,” Smith said.
You can reduce your exposure as much as possible, but chemicals will still be in our environment if the laws don’t change. Learn about the issues at the EWG’s website and contact your local representative today.
Julie Revelant is a health journalist and a consultant who provides content marketing and copywriting services for the healthcare industry.
As a rheumatologist, I am often asked why patients have developed a particular autoimmune disease. I take a holistic view of their illness, so I inquire about the patient’s stress levels, diet and exercise patterns – and any chemicals they may be exposed to. This helps me better understand the role their environment may play in their health.
A growing body of research suggests that chemicals in everyday products may put us at risk for health problems – from infertility and birth defects to certain types of cancer. In fact, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now monitors a total of 298 environmental chemicals that have been found in humans, including many used in consumer products. These chemicals can gradually build up in the body, potentially making you sick.
While it’s impossible to avoid exposure to all environmental chemicals, there are ways to rid your home of many of these potential toxins. Here are 10 items you may want to avoid buying, toss or replace:
Ever wonder why clear plastic containers turn cloudy after running through the dishwasher a few times? Plastic breaks down over time, and this breakdown can release dangerous chemicals into your food. Many plastic containers are made from chemicals including phthalates, which act as endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs). Switch to glass containers.
You don’t necessarily have to toss these, but don’t heat them up in the plastic. Heating plastic can release chemicals that seep into your food. It’s well worth your time to take a few extra seconds to transfer prepared foods into a glass container before heating them in the microwave.
Many nonstick pans contain trace amounts of a chemical called perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), which has been shown to cause cancer in laboratory animals. The pans’ non-stick lining can scratch or chip off into your food. Instead, use cast iron or stainless steel cookware, and natural, non-stick sprays such as olive oil.
I never allow artificial air fresheners in my home. Anything you breathe in eventually ends up in your bloodstream. Plug-in scents or synthetically scented candles many contain chemicals called phthalates, which have been linked to reproductive problems. Instead, choose candles made with essential oils and fresh flowers to scent your home. Also, try using baking soda and white vinegar as odor absorbers.
The one-word ingredient “perfume” can translate to a product containing upwards of 300 chemical ingredients. (Perfume companies won’t release lists of exact ingredients for fear of divulging secrets to their competitors.) Avoid perfumes and colognes or switch to products that are scented with natural oils.
Stain blockers essentially create an invisible plastic barrier over your furniture. This plastic will eventually wear off and be released into your home environment. Instead, simply clean stains as necessary rather than trying to prevent them.
Check the labels of cleaning products for chemical ingredients such as phthalates and chemical surfactants. Natural products like baking soda, Borax, soap powder, vinegar, lemon and hot water work just as well without coating your home with toxins.
From shampoo to lipstick, the average American woman applies up to 12 personal care items, and the average man up to six, to their skin each day. That adds up to roughly 126 unique ingredients, according to the Environmental Working Group, a public health advocacy organization. Opt for cosmetics with mineral-based pigments and natural oils. Choose soaps and shampoos free of synthetic fragrances and chemicals such as triclosan, which has been found in animal studies to alter hormone regulation.
Many antiperspirants use aluminum-based compounds and other chemicals, which are absorbed into the sweat glands. While there are ongoing studies on possible health impacts of antiperspirants, I advise avoiding any chemicals that are absorbed into the body for non-medical purposes. You can find aluminum-free antiperspirants, and there are many chemical-free brands of natural deodorant sticks and sprays that don’t contain parabens and all ingredients with ‘PEG’ in their name (such as PEG-8 and PEG-40 hydrogenated castor oil).
Research on animals suggests that chemicals in some sunscreens, including oxybenzone, may cause health problems when they penetrate the skin. The safest sunscreens are made from minerals such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, but they can be very expensive. In general, avoid aerosol spray sunscreens, which you can accidentally inhale, as well as sunscreens containing chemical ingredients such as oxybenzone, octinoxate, retinyl palmitate (a form of vitamin A), and fragrances.
When you’re looking for safer products, keep in mind that term “natural” means almost nothing in the food and cosmetics industry, as it’s not regulated by the FDA. Instead, look for “organic” labeling, because organic ingredients are federally monitored, and really mean something in the food and cosmetics world.
A good start in finding safer products for yourself and your home is to avoid items containing parabens or -sulfates (such as sodium lauryl sulfate or sodium laureate sulfate) or items labeled “fragrance” or “parfum.”
Of course, it may not be practical for you to toss all of these items at once. Instead, try swapping out one product at a time with a safer version. Even small steps to minimize your chemical exposures can create a healthier and safer home.
Aly Cohen, MD, FACR, a certified rheumatologist and integrative medicine specialist at CentraState Medical Center in Freehold, New Jersey, recently completed a fellowship in integrative medicine at the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine. Her book, The Smart Human: Essential Guide to Living Healthy in a Chemical World, was published in January 2015.
This is brought to us by Natural Healing Center Fan – Chris Oldham.
Chris says homemade organic Beef Broth is her ‘go-to’ for those cold winter evenings when she is curled up with a book. And helps your immune system to boot!
The process is pretty easy and has simple ingredients that you probably have in your fridge already.
Beef bone broth is one of the most healing foods you can consume. It’s rich in nutrients like gelatin and glycine, which help to protect and heal a leaky gut, skin and digestive tract.
You may have heard that knuckle cracking causes arthritis, but there’s no evidence to support this claim. Knuckle cracking may lead to other issues, though. Keep reading to learn more about this habit and why you may want to cut back on the knuckle cracking.
Several studies have been done to determine if knuckle cracking is associated with arthritis. To date, no link has been found.
In one report, researchers from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences examined a group of 215 people. Twenty percent of them said they cracked their knuckles regularly.
Results showed 18.1 percent of those participants who cracked their knuckles and 21.5 percent of those who didn’t have arthritis in their hands. The investigators concluded that the chance of having arthritis was about the same in both groups.
In 1998, Dr. Donald Unger performed an informal study that was published as a letter to the editor in the journal Arthritis and Rheumatism. As part of his experiment, the doctor cracked the knuckles on his left hand at least twice a day for 50 years, while leaving the knuckles on his right hand alone to serve as a control.
Dr. Unger estimated that the knuckles on his left hand were cracked at least 36,500 times. In his letter, he concluded that after 50 years, neither of his hands showed symptoms of arthritis, and there were no differences between the two hands.
The results of a study published in 2017 agreed with Dr. Unger’s conclusions. Researchers found knuckle crackers had the same level of physical function as those who didn’t crack their knuckles.
Knuckle cracking doesn’t cause arthritis, but some research suggests the habit may not be completely harmless.
If a joint gets locked when it pops, knuckle cracking could lead to injuries in your hand.
A study conducted in 1990 showed chronic knuckle cracking may affect hand health. Researchers looked at 300 participants and found those who cracked their joints had a higher rate of inflammation and a weaker grip.
This finding is controversial, however. Newer research published in 2017 concluded that knuckle cracking didn’t affect grip strength.
You should see a doctor if you experience the following from knuckle cracking:
It’s also a good idea to seek professional help if the habit interferes with your daily life.
If you experience hand inflammation, you should see your doctor. Treatments to reduce swelling may include:
To improve grip strength, your doctor might recommend specific exercises that require you to grasp different devices.
Until recently, researchers believed that the sound of knuckle cracking came from a bubble that was popped when parts of the finger separated.
A study published in 2015 challenged this theory. Researchers used MRI scans of fingers as they were cracked in real time and found the noise happens due to the formation of a cavity in the joint.
There’s no specific treatment for knuckle cracking. Sometimes, it may become an obsessive habit. In this case, you might want to talk to your doctor about different therapies that could help you cope with knuckle cracking.
If you have a habit of cracking your knuckles and would like to stop, try the following:
If you crack your knuckles, there aren’t any serious health effects to worry about. In fact, some people report relief when they pop their knuckles.
The habit won’t lead to arthritis, though it may affect hand grip strength. If the habit begins to affect your daily life, talk to your doctor about behavioral therapy.
Medically Reviewed by Nancy Carteron, MD, FACR on April 21, 2017 — Written by Julie Marks
Dr. Carteron, FACR, specializes in autoimmunity. She is board-certified in internal medicine and rheumatology. She is a UCSF clinical faculty member. She is cofounder of HealthWell Foundation, Medical & Scientific Advisory Board chair, and editor of the Sjogren’s Quarterly. She enjoys time in Napa Valley with her family and serving as a catechist.
Here are a few of our favorite Healthy Thanksgiving menu recipes.
You will want to quarter an onion and a lemon and place inside the cavity before tying. Rub olive oil on the outside and sprinkle with salt, pepper, garlic, and basil. And brown at 425 degrees for about 15 minutes to seal in the juices. Then, reduce the heat to 325 degrees and roast according to the instructions for the size bird. It’s that easy!
This recipe is a great way to add some extra veggies to the meal and try some delicious root vegetables. Roasted turnips and sweet potatoes flavored with apples, celery, and onions and hints of sage and thyme give it the traditional taste of stuffing without gluten or artificial ingredients.
This grain-free stuffing is better when cooked outside the bird, and can easily be prepared a day or two ahead of time and reheated in a 9×13 baking dish to save time on Thanksgiving Day. The leftovers can actually be breaded in coconut flour and pan-fried to make a “bread” for leftover turkey sandwiches.
yield 8 -10
Green beans topped with a homemade (real) cream sauce and topped with pan-fried onions in a coconut flour batter. This recipe has all the flavor (and more) of the traditional version without the mystery-soup-in-a-can. It is a little time intensive to make but is worth the effort. It can be made ahead and reheated.
Healthy Cream of Mushroom Sauce
yield 8 -10
At our house, we much prefer sweet potatoes baked and topped with real butter and sea salt, but if you like the marshmallow-topped version, this is a good alternative. It is topped with a homemade egg and honey-based “marshmallow” that is very similar in taste and texture. You can also leave off the marshmallows completely, or reduce the amount of Gelatin in this marshmallow recipe to 3 Tablespoons to make a marshmallow fluff topping.
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If you love potatoes, by all means, indulge, but we love this much lower carb cauliflower version that uses pureed cauliflower and all the seasonings of regular mashed potatoes for a delicious substitute. Did you know that when prepared correctly, mashed cauliflower has a very similar texture to mashed potatoes, not to mention a sweet and buttery taste?
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Most homemade cranberry sauce recipes call for a lot of sugar… enough to classify cranberry sauce as a dessert and not a side dish. For those who haven’t tried them, plain cranberries are very tart, so I wasn’t sure how much it would be possible to reduce the sugar and still have an enjoyable sauce, but unrefined natural sweeteners (honey) and delicious fruits filled in the gaps.
This recipe still has more natural sugars than we normally eat, but is a much healthier option to the ones that actually contain refined sugar and is a delicious treat for Thanksgiving dinner.
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A gluten-free (and dairy-optional) version of the classic pumpkin pie that uses natural sweeteners! Get all the flavor without the junk.
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yield 6 -8
As the daylight hours shorten, we start to welcome the gifts of fall. Cool, crisp mornings, school year routines, cozy sweaters, and the aroma of wood smoke curling up from the chimney tops. Maybe an apple pie and a trip to the pumpkin patch, too… However, these autumnal delights carry with them a few nasty aspects. Enclosed spaces, re-circulated air, and the worst part of all – the return of the cold and flu season. There is really no practical way, with absolute certainty, to avoid the common cold. Great diet, adequate exercise, and excellent hygiene all play a very important role in preventing or lessening the severity of the “creeping crud,” but those viral invaders are very clever. Lucky for those of us “herbally” inclined, we have a few antiviral, immune-stimulating plant allies to add to our fortification provisions. Here are a few beloved herbs for cold and flu to help you navigate through the season with relative ease.
Perhaps the least well known of this list, astragalus (Astragalus membranaceous) is an extraordinary immune stimulant and all over tonic. Studies have demonstrated that long-term astragalus use promotes greater antibody secretion and increased lymphocyte production. As an antioxidant and adaptogen, astragalus protects cells from free radical damage and moderates the body’s stress response. A warming herb, it is said to increase “digestive fire,” promoting efficient digestion. Astragalus can be administered as a tincture or a dried, encapsulated herb, or simmered, then steeped with your favorite aromatic herbs for a health-promoting tea.
A favorite of many foragers, elderberries (Sambucus nigra) are a virtual gold mine of antiviral properties. A variety of studies have indicated that elderberry may have an inhibitory effect of influenza pathogens, while also reducing the duration and severity of flu symptoms. Conveniently ripening as the cold and flu season picks up momentum, elderberries make tasty tinctures, syrups, and lozenges, while the dried berries offer teas an immunity-boosting fruity note.
Warming, aromatic ginger (Zingiber officinale) is a familiar and comforting scent of fall that packs a pleasant, but powerful antiviral punch. Fresh ginger was even shown to demonstrate profound inhibition of the human Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) in a 2013 study. Additionally, ginger stimulates productive expectoration and helps to quiet an upset stomach. Fresh ginger simmered briefly in water makes for an aromatic and enjoyable tea.
Pungent and powerful garlic (Allium sativum) is a favorite of most chefs and “kitchen witches” alike. A well-muscled antimicrobial, garlic does not play nicely with germs of any persuasion. While dried and encapsulated garlic is helpful, when delivered as a component of “fire cider,” or even eaten fresh and raw (for those so brave and daring), garlic is at its most effective.
This citrus-scented member of the mint family is an often overlooked antiviral. Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) may also be effective in speeding the healing of cold sores. Lemon balm makes a soothing, relaxing cup of antiviral tea, but can be applied as a soothing “poultice” of sorts, or as a tincture.
The fall bearing fruit of the ever beautiful rose (Rosa spp.) is brimming with vitamin C. Another timely foraged fare, rose hips offer exceptional antioxidant potential, anti-inflammatory benefits, and great immunity support. The jewel red fruits can forage in the fall; after removing the inner hairy seeds, the pulp is made into syrups and jellies or dried for tea and other remedies. Antiviral and immune stimulating herbs are a wonderful tool to utilize during the cold and flu season. While there are no guarantees, a thoughtful plan of prevention and quick acting remedies will help to keep you healthy all year long.
MediHerb®, an Australian company, is a leader in herbal products for healthcare professionals in the United States. MediHerb’s success is fueled by an unwavering commitment to delivering premium-quality, efficacious herbal solutions for optimal patient outcomes.*
MediHerb products are developed by experts and leaders in the field of herbal therapy, drawing on the latest scientific evidence, as well as centuries of traditional knowledge. The positive health results achieved are the strongest possible evidence of their potency and superiority. The aim is to get your patients back to optimum health and enhance their well-being for the long term. MediHerb’s wide range of products can powerfully enhance health and vitality. Whether you’re managing short-term issues or need long-term support, these natural therapies can deliver dramatic positive effects.
Natural Healing Center trusts MediHerb herbal solutions which reflect the company’s philosophy and commitment to quality, purity and high manufacturing standards.
Contributor: 6 Herbs for Cold and Flu Season - LearningHerbs
Copyright © 2017 LearningHerbs.
Have you ever seen research questioning the value of vitamin and mineral supplements and wondered what the whole story was? Yes, ideally, we’d get all our holistic nutrition from food. But since most soils are deficient in nutrients, (especially minerals) due to industrial food production practices, getting all our nutrition from food is not realistic. So most of us pop vitamins and other dietary supplements to ensure we’re getting optimal levels of necessary micronutrients. Some of us pop more than others. And we’re getting handed them, just like this packet of samples my doctor recently gave me. [See photos below.]
But what if dangerous ingredients are lurking in your vitamin and mineral supplement? “No”, you exclaim. “Surely not! Those knights in shining armor at the FDA would spring into action to protect us…”
Sigh. Yet again, the political powers that should be protecting us are letting us down. And the industrial powers that be are tossing lots of lovely toxic fillers into your vitamin pills.
Here are the 5 worst (or most dangerous) things to look for in your dietary supplements. If you find them, don’t buy those supplements. Seriously. It’s best to avoid a side of carcinogen with your micronutrients. Maybe it’s all the junk in vitamins and minerals that lead to the studies questioning whether they actually help us. B vitamins with a side of Red #40 probably aren’t going to lead to an optimal health outcome.
– FD&C Blue No. 1
– FD&C Blue No. 2
– FD&C Green No. 3
– FD&C Red No. 3
– FD&C Red No. 40
– FD&C Yellow No. 5
– FD&C Yellow No. 6
Why, oh why are there artificial colors in your vitamins?
The FDA states that these artificial colors in your vitamins are added to: “Offset color loss due to exposure to light, air, temperature extremes, moisture and storage conditions; correct natural variations in color; enhance colors that occur naturally; provide color to colorless and ‘fun’ foods.”
Do we really care if our vitamin pill has a lovely shade of red? Especially considering the FDA itself has “probed” into the connection between artificial food dyes and children’s behavior! Red #40 has been linked to hyperactivity and the Center for Science in the Public Interest, among others, wants the FDA to ban artificial food colors. After all, artificial colors in your vitamins serve no function other than making food look more “fun”, or even worse, cover up the fact that the active ingredients in the vitamin have been degraded by exposure to light, air, moisture, heat, or poor storage conditions.
Additionally, European lawmakers now require a warning label on foods that contain artificial dyes. The label must state: “May have an adverse effect on activity and attention in children.”
Here you thought you were avoiding hydrogenated fats by passing on the margarine. Did you know that your dietary supplement may also have these little toxic nasties? And, to make matters worse, its often partially hydrogenated soybean oil—one of the major fillers in the majority of vitamins today. Unless soy is organic, you can pretty much guarantee it’s genetically modified. So you’re getting a dose of franken-soy with your vitamins.
The FDA knows that hydrogenated fats are bad for us. The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans specifically states: “Keep trans fatty acid consumption as low as possible by limiting foods that contain synthetic sources of trans fats, such as partially hydrogenated oils, and by limiting other solid fats.”
The CDC chimed in, posting in January 2014 that:
Consuming trans fat increases low-density lipoprotein (LDL, or ‘bad’) cholesterol. This risk factor contributes to the leading cause of death in the U.S. – coronary heart disease (CHD). Trans fat may also have other adverse health effects like decreasing high-density lipoprotein (HDL, or ‘good’) cholesterol. Further reducing trans fat consumption by avoiding artificial trans fat could prevent 10,000-20,000 heart attacks and 3,000-7,000 coronary heart disease deaths each year in the U.S.
So why does the FDA allow these dangerous ingredients in your supplements? They’re cheap fillers. People still have this idea that bigger is better. Until we realize that smaller can be just as good, manufacturers will use cheap nasty fillers to give us bigger horse sized pills.
It’s up to you to avoid them, folks.
Essential fatty acids (EFAs) are on everyone’s mind lately. They’ve been shown to be particularly important for pregnant women, babies, and toddlers,  as well as for brain and heart health.  But not all brands are created equal. Since fish high on the food chain can accumulate mercury, lead, and other contaminants, those metals can make their way into your fish oil supplements. Yuck! Maybe these contaminants are the reason some research showed that fish oil supplements increased prostate cancer risk? 
The high levels of PCBs in fish oils led to a lawsuit in California in 2010 claiming that supplement manufacturers should have placed warning labels stating the cancer risk on their fish oil supplements.  Testing by Consumer Reports in 2011 showed 1/3 of the fish oils tested had high PCB levels. 
What? You don’t want a toxic heavy metal or some PCBs with your EFAs today? Then you’d better be careful of what brand of Omega-3 or EFAs you buy. This is not the time to choose the cheap option—make sure that you choose a variety that has been meticulously tested for lead or mercury contaminants. Your best choices should state that they are “Molecularly distilled and 3rd party tested to ensure PCBs, dioxins, mercury, lead and other contaminants are below acceptable limits set by the Council for Responsible Nutrition and other advisory agencies,” or something similar.
Here’s an even better option: choose wild fish, pasture-raised eggs, or greens for a good dose of Omega-3s!
Talc is not currently considered food grade by the FDA. Although they were considering setting upper limits for asbestos fibers and adding it to the GRAS list way back in 1979, I couldn’t find whether any upper limits have yet been set. (Mind you, the FDA website is pretty impossible to navigate!) But talc is still found in supplements. Yuck!
Titanium dioxide is yet another one of the nasty and dangerous ingredients in your vitamins or supplements; it is used as a colorant (it’s also used in many cosmetics). Titanium dioxide has a raft of health implications.
Titanium dioxide has been shown to cause lung inflammation and damage, so it’s yet another substance that has an impact on workers at the production level. It has also been implicated in immune system function, with some studies showing DNA damage by Titanium dioxide nanoparticles, albeit marginal damage. Just a wee bit of DNA damage with your vitamins.
Taken internally, it has been shown to cause kidney damage in mice and to induce small intestine inflammation. This is scary considering how many people suffering from Crohn’s and gluten sensitivity are probably taking supplements containing Titanium dioxide.
Yet again, our health is risked so our vitamins can be a pretty color. Very disturbing. Avoid it.
The big picture solution is to have an FDA that actually prevents toxic materials getting into our food supply (and dietary supplements are a part of that food supply). But since that seems unlikely anytime soon, we have to take matters into our own hands:
If we all kick up a bit of a ruckus, manufacturers will take these dangerous ingredients out.
For untold centuries, humans have relied on the food supply as a source of energy, health, and connection. However, in the last six or seven decades, changes in the food supply (and in how we use it) have contributed strongly to the growing epidemic of chronic disease. Hippocrates stated, “Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food.” Even Thomas Edison in 1902 stated, “The doctor of the future will no longer treat the human frame with drugs but rather will cure and prevent disease with nutrition.”
The current method of treatment today in addressing mental health issues involves, psychotherapy and psychotropic drugs. This is regarded as the highest and best possible course of action. This is what I call, “treating parts of a person”, and not the “whole person.” In this methodology, the individual is prescribed medicines that address the symptoms, and creating a new form of addiction. These medicines are producing disturbances in our biochemistry that are harmful to our overall health. According to the CDC, 1 in 7 women taking prescription antidepressants was likely to experience birth defects in pregnancy. Furthermore, Harvard medical school explored how coming off your antidepressant medication can cause disturbing symptoms and set you up for a relapse of depression.
There exists evidence of a physical cause and effect relationship between food and mood. “Nutrition is one of the most obvious, yet under-recognized factors in the development of major trends in mental health,” says Dr. Antonis Kousoulis, deputy director at the Mental Health Foundation. Omega-3 fatty acids, found in fish and fish oil, have been shown to prevent psychosis – in which sufferers experience hallucinations or delusions – in high-risk people between the ages of 13 and 25. As a bonus, “they also improve cognitive function, improve learning and prevent heart disease”. The UK’s Royal College of Psychiatrists recommends at least two portions of fish a week. Vitamin D has also been found to help prevent and contribute to improvements in mental illness. Though found in milk, yogurt, orange juice, salmon, tuna and mackerel, the body’s natural production of vitamin D is most important and generated through exposure to sunlight. Furthermore, psychiatrists can’t predict what adverse side-effects you might experience because not one of them knows how their drugs work. It’s an uneasy thought that the doctors prescribing the drugs don’t even know the mechanism of action of the prescription they’re asking us to take.
As a Psychotherapist, I worked first-hand with a Psychiatrist, in both hospital settings, and outpatient clinics. I witnessed as my clients were being treated with medicines that did little to address the underlying issues. Often, my clients suffered from issues that were merely bandaged by the medical profession. I don’t want to fault the Psychiatrist as this is what they were taught in Medical School. I became tired of seeing this revolving door of everyone getting sick, and no one ever really getting any better.
In as far back as the 1900’s medical professionals understood the relationship between the gut and the brain, and some have called our gut, “the second brain.” The treatment methods that existed in the past, are looked at as “odd,” or non-conventional today. What occurred that made that shift? The rise of the pharmaceutical company exploded in the airwaves. Not only did the pharmaceutical company have an opportunity to promote their drugs through public domain (tv. radio, websites), they also made their way into medical schools where they controlled the education of future doctors. This didn’t happen by coincidence. The Nielson Co. estimates that there’s an average of 80 drug ads every hour of every day on American television.
I want to help you get “un-stuck,” introduce you to treatment methods that address the “whole client” vs. the medical model, which is a form of compartmentalizing the client. The current medical model in treating mental health issues is doing you a disservice as they only treat the symptoms. Your local holistic practitioner shouldn’t go unnoticed. They are your Registered Nurse, your Naturopath, your Nutritionist or Chiropractor. Seek them out because they believe in treating “the whole person.” They work to address underlying issues and causes to help prevent, or even reverse disease. Professionally your holistic health care practitioner will not tell you that they treat disease or can prevent or reverse conditions, but their methodology of treatment does exactly this. We don’t want to discount the benefits that Allopathic doctors offer, but I do want you to know your options. We can reverse disease by having good quality nutrition, and Type 2 Diabetes is an example of that. I’ll explain how prescription drugs deplete the body of necessary nutrients that the brain needs to prevent mental health issues. Let’s break away from the stigma, the current and expected method of treatment, and help you find long-lasting optimal wellness. I don’t want you to merely survive your condition, I want you to overcome it. Like anything, there are no guarantees, however what I can assure is that when you try something new, you will always get a different result.
For more information on how natural healing can help you or your loved ones, please contact Natural Healing Center at 877.95.DETOX or https://naturalhealingcenter.us/contact/
October 23, 2017
Article written by, Karin Awad LMFT
Karin Awad is a Licensed Marriage Family Therapist, and specializes in addiction treatment. She began her work with children and families, and has spent time working with the severely mentally ill in psychiatric clinics, private practice, and eventually spent most of her time working in addiction treatment. Karin has held different roles, from Admissions Counselor, Therapist, to Program Director, and Patient Advocate. She has been an educator and advocate of drug-prevention.
For the last year and a half, Karin has gained education on clinical nutrition through Standard Process. During this time, Karin has learned that treating mental health must include nutrition, and to separate the two would be a disservice to her clients.
Karin is not a nutritionist. She is a psychotherapist with education on nutrition, and wants to educate the public on their options in addressing their mental health issues. Karin has a passion for helping others get well. Valuing both traditional and holistic medicine, she is a passionate believer in and teacher of the power of personal responsibility in health and wellness.